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Documentation Guidelines

Version 7 - 2-SEPTEMBER-2023

The documentation that is required by the Iron Butt Association (“IBA”) is the difference between completing a long and difficult ride and completing a long a difficult ride that is certified by the most prestigious group of long distance riders on the planet - The Iron Butt Association.

You cannot buy an Iron Butt membership.  Every rider who is a member completed at least one IBA ride and got it certified.   When you meet an IBA member on the road you know he/she not only is one of the world’s toughest riders but has the documentation to prove it.   Join us.

  • Get home safe.  This our most important requirement.  Live to ride another day even if this ride did not go as planned.  Most of us have been half done with a long ride we spent hours planning and spent hundreds of dollars executing only to see it would fail.  Live to ride another day.
  • Ride safe.  If it becomes known you were riding in a reckless manner, even after the fact, a certificate could be revoked and your membership in the IBA rescinded.
  • Prove that your ride met the requirements of the ride for which you are applying for certification.
  • Comply with all rules of the ride as described on the “ride page”. 

In the real world we all deal with the unexpected.  You come to an important turn-around in Wyoming and the station is closed and the pay-at-the-pump will not give a receipt.   There is no other open businesses in sight.  Document you position as best you can. 
  • Most smartphones have the option of including “location” in the form of latitude/longitude as metadata in a picture. 
  • Take pictures to prove you bought fuel and of the business with the address (if possible) in the frame.  Do what you can to prove you were there at a particular time.
  • It is your job to prove you were where you claim to have been.

Traditional Documentation Method

This method is available to everyone and for all rides.

Trip Log

Provide a written explanation of every stop.  Click here for the form.

Remember to document any stop for fuel and other stops that exceed 30 minutes on our trip log.


Provide dated-business-receipts (“DBR”) to prove your claim.  Often these receipts are for buying fuel, but ATM receipts, meal receipts (McDonalds receipts are usually good), or any other computer generated receipt will work.  Be sure the receipt has the time, date, city and state clearly visible.  Without these four pieces of information, your receipt is not a good receipt.  If there is ONE—and only one-- element of information that is incorrect, you may correct it on the receipt.

Start of Ride

The time on your first DBR starts your ride so make absolutely sure it is accurate and legible.  There should be no incorrect elements on this receipt.

Take a photo of your receipt in front of your odometer at the start, at each stop, and at the end of your ride:

Good Start Receipt

This low-resolution photo shows a good way to show your receipts.  Of course, the photo you turn in will be higher resolution so the verification team can clearly read location, date and time.  Most phones are capable of taking this kind of photo.  For more examples, please visit here.

You might want to start practicing now before your ride. On a good day, under cover at gas pumps, it is easy-peasy. On a wet, windy day at non-covered pumps, not so much. Or you might hate it - in which case, you may use this ALTERNATE WITNESS METHOD to document your ride. But compared to hitting up a hotel clerk at 3 am (who many times has moved on and probably can't respond to our letters anyway), the photo in front of your odometer method should prove to be superior.

Intermediate Stops

BE CERTAIN to get proof at any ‘corners’ or detours from a point to point routing from your start to your destination.

No matter the fuel range of your motorcycle, the IBA requires you stop at least every 350 miles (560km) for a DBR.   Check you DBR.  City?  State? Time of day?  Date?  All correct?

End of Ride
The time on your last DBR officially ends your ride or “stops the clock”.  Be sure to take a photo of your last DBR in front of your odometer.  There should be no incorrect elements on the receipt.  Relax.  Get some rest.


Provide a paper map (photographic copies are acceptable) of your stops.


Provide a written explanation of any problems you encountered. 

For example; “I was stopped for 33 minutes behind a road closure but on I-95 near VA MM 8”

Application Form

Complete the application form.  Click here for the form.  

FINALLY, send it to:

Iron Butt Association
P.O. Box 4550
Lisle, ILLINOIS 60532 USA

Please make your check payable in US funds to the "Iron Butt Association". Please note that we do not make any money on this ride, this is our approximate cost of administrating the Saddlesore and Bun-Burner program. NOTE: If you are located outside the United States or Canada and obtaining a check in US Funds is difficult please send e-mail to [email protected]. for possible alternate payment methods.

Have a scanner and want to try ELECTRONIC APPLICATION?  Visit IBA Electronic Application Guidelines.

This verification process takes 3-4 months so be patient - please.

Do you want a faster and easier way to have your ride verified?

AFTER YOU BECOME AN IBA MEMBER AND HAVE BEEN AWARDED AN IBA NUMBER, you can become a Premier Member.  Premier Members receive many extra benefits, including expedited ride verifications, usually within just a few weeks.  Visit Premier Program Benefits for more information.